In his latest essay on substack, once-conservative-blogger-turned-progressive-shill (because he cared about gay marriage more than anything else)-turned-independent-gadfly Andrew Sullivan demonstrates in detail that what Ethics Alarms (and everyone else paying attention) knew would happen has, in fact, happened. If we ruin every police officer who shoots a black citizen in the line of duty, and allow Black Lives Matter to demonize such officers regardless of the circumstances, we get dangerously hesitant law enforcement, passive policing, more crimes by blacks and and police actively avoiding confrontations with black suspects.
Well, of course. This isn’t hard. But Andrew, a moderate at heart, is a kind-of progressive and always hated Donal Trump, so at least he won’t be accused of “mouthing Fox News talking points” when he states the obvious. Sullivan is also smart, a fine writer, and knows how to make a case, but during the Great Stupid in the course of the George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck, Facts Don’t Matter. But at least he tries. His case, however, is a bit like arguing that the night follows day.
His careful if annoying article deserves a full read, but here are some excerpts and some comments.
Let’s begin with data quoted by the Times,and in turn by Sullivan:
“Homicide rates in large cities were up more than 30 percent on average last year, and up another 24 percent for the beginning of this year, according to criminologists … Homicides in Portland, Ore., rose to 53 from 29, up more than 82 percent; in Minneapolis, they grew to 79 from 46, up almost 72 percent; and in Los Angeles the number increased to 351 from 258, a 36 percent climb … Homicides in Philadelphia are up almost 28 percent, with 170 through May 9, compared with 133 in the same period last year; in Tucson, Ariz., the number jumped to 30 from 17 through May 13, an increase of 76 percent.”
After considering and rejecting other explanations (In a typical Times bit of misdirection, a headline today reads “As Virus Recedes, Mayors Confront An Old Adversary: Rising Crime.” It’s the pandemic’s fault, and if it isn’t, this is nothing new!), Sullivan (correctly) fingers the George Floyd incident:
“Before Floyd, no big increase in homicides, aggravated assaults, and shootings. After, a huge spike.Of course, that is not causation. But it’s one hell of a correlation — and no other event seems relevant. It’s as if the Floyd murder, and the subsequent urban chaos, sent a signal: the cops are on the defensive. Which means murderers can go on the offensive. And once lawlessness establishes itself, it tends to compound. A few gang murders can soon morph into tit-for-tat urban warfare.”
Gee, ya think?